Precious Perceptions

In USA elections the candidates with the largest amount of money spent on their campaign tend to be victorious. However this information at face value, doesn’t tell us exactly WHY they win. The amount spent has to be raised, and people are more likely to “donate” money to the party; which better appeals to them. Thus, perceptions rule the world, as a party which carries a better public perception will most probably raise the most money.

“A Wealthy Option”

In recent times political parties have begun accepting themselves as brands. In the past various political parties had both successful and failed election campaigns.

Businesses have their own brands, which have also experienced success and failure. Whether it is Polaroid losing relevance in the consumers mind at the beginning of the century; Enron and Arthur Anderson with their corruption; alienation of core customers by Harley Davidson, through brand extension which led to overstretch, or whether it is a brand such as IBM or Apple, who after past failures have revolutionised their businesses and brands successfully.

Perceptions are all important, and fashion labels may be the best example of this. Why is a person willing to pay over the odds for one dress over another, despite them being identical? The reason is the brand; more specifically the person’s perception of it. The connection that a person can feel with a brand can be so strong, that it can make a person feel like they are special, just because they are wearing a certain brands clothing or even have a certain technological device.

How a brand can make people feel

It is important for businesses of all sizes to do everything they can to both build and maintain a strong brand identity and perception. Be it through advertising and PR campaigns or particularly high quality service or range of products.

I’ll leave with some final thoughts.

The world of brands and perceptions is not that dissimilar to high school. You have the popular kids and the not so popular kids, but virtually all the kids in the school hope to be considered popular.

So I ask you who are the cheerleader, jock, geek and rebel brands?

Who is your brand?



The Curious Case of a Lack in Aspiration

This post takes a detour from what I usually post, in that I talk about something that I witnessed on the television recently.

Yep That’s right recently I witnessed the horror, that is MTV’s Teen Cribs

Seeing this, it made me wander what is happening to television. Let me set the scene….

You are “lucky” to be taken around by a smug young teenager around their house, where they proceed to show off all the things that they have, while always stating these things (including the house itself) as being there own, as though they actually earned it somehow.

Below is a teaser for the show, which isn’t quite as atrocious as the show itself, but is not too far off.

I am sure the justification for this show would be that it is supposed to be somehow aspirational. But I can’t help but notice that it is something which is capable of making many people feel inadequate, or as though they are missing out. This only serves to help create a society, which find it hard to be happy with what they have.

This show reminds in some ways of the “My Super Sweet 16” television series that MTV ran. Although that one to me seemed to have more of a commentary on the world of the rich spoiled brat 16 year olds; who are not happy if their parents buy them a Mercedes, because they wanted a Ferrari.

As mentioned earlier it is possible to assume that the creators of Teen Cribs meant it to be aspirational, but the reality….. The fact that the teen lives in a house, which their family owns and lives in.

One can hardly aspire to be born into a very wealthy family. So, that argument is not very valid.

This post was different to my usual, however I hope it was interesting to you.


Why Technology is Really Not Very Sexy

I came across an article a couple of weeks ago online, which stayed fresh in my mind…………………..

No, not this one unfortunately.

The article stated the following:

“That the lack of commercial success for the Linux Operating System in the home computer market was not down to missing functionality, command lines or software politics. But this lacks of success is argued to be down to the large amount of momentum behind its competitors, especially Microsoft. Linux is seen as being difficult to use, and having a difficult history.

Another reason for Linux’s failure has been argued to be the lack of centralised marketing. Linux is in fact a trademark of its creator. However this does not mean new brands could not be made. There are various different distributions (Red Hat and Ubuntu are two examples) available to download and install.”

It’s often a good idea to look in other areas in business, where an organisation in a similar situation has coped well with their own similar circumstances.

This brings me to………..

Firefox, the very internet browser I use for the most part.

Firefox is in fact an offshoot of the Mozilla Foundation. I’d propose that if an element in the Linux community wanted to create a paid-for distribution of Linux, in a more traditional way, than they should definitely consider using a similar model to Firefox.

However there is an inner flaw with the argument in the article I read, and my own thoughts. Especially regarding centralised marketing as a fix for the problem. Commercial success requires the business to want to achieve commercial success, and make it a key goal. Thus, it is not possible to create a revolution, when there are no participants to revolt.

Another key area of consideration here; is the consumer. The consumer doesn’t feel like there is anything wrong with the way their computer currently does what it does. In majority of cases they are also not aware of reasons why they should change their computer operating system.

Aspects of Linux such as stability are just not viewed as cool, sexy or even hot. Which brings me on to these chaps……

Yep, the famous 34 year old bitten Apple. They have managed to launch products which have strong and attractive design. This is one of the reasons their products sell well. Their advertising is sleek to go with the theme of their devices.

That was a Windows 7 “7 Seconds” Advert. The advertising campaign showcased what their operating system does without mention of stability, security or performance. This shows how much the average home consumer cares about these aspects of an operating system… Not much really.

To conclude, it is unlikely that Linux, will in the near future be a mainstream operating system to rival Microsoft and Apple. However, that is not to say that they can’t do it. They can.

Hope you have enjoyed my first post, I will throw some variety into my blog. Hope you give it another visit.

— Dimitri —